HC Deb 29 July 1952 vol 504 cc1262-3
42. Miss Burton

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the deadlock reached between shopkeepers and manufacturers on the labelling of woollen and worsted cloths; and, as it was hoped that such labelling would partly replace Utility quality standards, if he will press the Retail Trading Standards Association for an early decision on the matter.

Mr. H. Strauss

I assume that the hon. Lady is referring to discussions which have been taking place on a committee of the British Standards Institution to settle a draft glossary of wool textile terms. I am aware that there have been differences of opinion on that committee and that the Retail Trading Standards Association have circulated their views. In accordance with the normal procedure of the B.S.I. in settling standards by consent, a further meeting of its appropriate committee will be held to discuss the comments received.

Miss Burton

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that in the annual report of the Association they described the manufacturers proposal for labelling wool and wool mixture as clumsy and misleading? Is he further aware that if those proposals were adopted it would be legal to describe all rayon cloth as worsted suiting, and will he urge the Institution to be quick in making their decision?

Mr. Strauss

I am aware of the case put by the Retail Trading Standards Association, some of which the hon. Lady has repeated, but the British Standards Institution is a perfectly competent body to hear and consider these matters.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Does the Minister agree that it would have been much better to have had a scheme of standards before the Utility scheme was scrapped, and in view of the uncertainty that his action is causing in the woollen industry, will the hon. and learned Gentleman do something to expedite the decision.